Working dogs compete in the Cobber Challenge Relay

Twelve teams of working dogs from across Australia and New Zealand compete to find the best working dog in the region.

Dog teams will use GPS collars for three weeks to track the distance, speed and intensity of their work in the 2022 Cobber Challenge relay.

Teams will be scored on distance, speed and working time per day.

Dane Simmonds and his team from Parwan Prime in West Victoria will put Ruby and Tully through their paces.

“My dogs are quite competitive with each other – I have a really good team,” Mr Simmonds said.

Ruby wears a GPS collar as part of the working dog challenge.(Rural ABC: Jane McNaughton)

“Each dog turns on a day, dogs aren’t allowed to work two days in a row, so Ruby is wearing the collar today.”

He said Ruby, a three-year-old kelpie, loves her job on her 2,020-hectare property in the Parwan Valley.

“She wants to work constantly, it doesn’t matter if I work cattle or sheep, and even at home she doesn’t want to die out,” he said.

A man with two dogs on a farm
Dane Simmonds manages Parwan Prime in western Victoria.(Rural ABC: Jane McNaughton)

He said he had to drag himself out of bed in the morning.

“She likes to sleep well, but once she gets down to business she’s a great female dog,” he said.

“She is still finding her bearings and has a bit to learn as she is a bit more focused on the subject whereas the other dogs are a bit older and wiser.”

Two kelpies sitting in a farm buggy.
Maverick is a regular at rounding up cattle and teaching Pip the ropes.(Rural ABC: Jane McNaughton)

His other working dogs included Maverick, Pip and Nacho.

The Parwan Prime team currently sit third in the standings, but Mr Simmonds will hope a busy weekend of work will keep them competitive.

“Today is our busiest day here on the farm, we will probably be moving around 4,000 or 5,000 lambs and 600 cattle,” he said.

A puppy is sitting on the ground.
Nacho is the youngest of Mr. Simmonds’ kelpies and will learn to herd cattle.(Rural ABC: Jane McNaughton)

The contest ends on September 11.

Data is uploaded daily so fans can track the progress of their favorite dogs.

Bette C. Alvarado